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EPS/Northwestern Partnership Earns State Honors

Posted Date: 03/10/2016

A partnership between Enid Public Schools and Northwestern Oklahoma State University is receiving state-wide recognition less than one year after its launch.


The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education selected the EPS early childhood lab on the campus of Northwestern as a recipient of its 2016 Business Partnership Excellence Award. The award highlights successful partnerships and is intended to further cultivate Oklahoma’s higher learning environment.


Representatives of the district and the university accepted the honor during a banquet this week on the University of Central Oklahoma campus in Edmond.


“Our partnership with Northwestern is win-win for both organizations and for the students we serve,” Dr. Darrell Floyd, EPS Superintendent, said. “Our youngest learners have an innovative place to grow and to thrive, and Northwestern’s students benefit from real-world, hands-on experience that will set them apart from other applicants upon graduation. It is a model partnership, and we are honored to be a part of it. It’s an added bonus for all of Oklahoma to celebrate its success with us.”


Northwestern and EPS created the early learning lab to provide additional classroom space for the district’s growing four-year-old program. More than 22 students attend this year. The children have participated in the campus recycling program, a reading program, and many other campus events.

Northwestern students have the opportunity to volunteer, observe and learn in the classroom as they prepare for careers in education, psychology and other fields.


Plans for expansion of Northwestern student involvement for the spring semester are underway and include efforts by the nursing and psychology departments. Both entities believe the program will help attract and grow the next generation of educators to help alleviate a critical teacher shortage in the area.


Expansion of the partnership is being discussed by officials from both schools. It will include a four-classroom addition, thanks to voters who generously supported the recent school bond election.


“I am truly excited by the recognition of excellence that Enid Public Schools received from our state regents,” Dr. Wayne McMillin, Dean of Northwestern-Enid, said. “Our partnership with Enid Public Schools is a bright spot in a time of bleak economic outlook for all of education. I believe that the proactive nature of providing educational opportunities at both ends of the spectrum shows an innovative and progressive initiative that will only help strengthen our city and Northwest Oklahoma. We look forward to the new possibilities to come.”


About Enid Public Schools

District-wide, EPS serves 8,000 students in a supportive community of 50,000. The district recently constructed two new elementary schools and a University Center on the Enid High School campus. Last month, voters approved a $93 million school bond to provide safer schools, improved transportation, more technology, a gymnasium, fine arts center, classroom additions and more.


The success of EPS, including its early childhood program, has been featured in five national publications in recent years. It was selected as a 2015 District of Distinction by District Administration Magazine.

About Northwestern

Northwestern is a comprehensive regional university serving more than 2,200 students and has been nationally recognized for academic quality and affordability. The university’s Enid Campus was opened in 1996 and offers both undergraduate and graduate programs.

For more information:

Amber Graham Fitzgerald, Enid Public Schools
Executive Director of HR & Communications or 580-366-7000

Steven Valencia, Northwestern
Associate Vice President for University Relations or 580-327-8478